Sadly mental health problems seem to occur in the lives of many people today and teenagers are not exempt. In fact depression is no respecter of persons certainly as far as age goes. Children have been diagnosed with mental health issues. The causes of depression are many and varied but it can be triggered or made worse by such things as financial worries, relationship difficulties, housing problems, physical disabilities and childcare management issues.
In our community we can see mental health problems in a number of areas such as dementia particularly with the elderly, postnatal depression with new mothers, teenage depression for young people facing the pressures of growing up, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia with people of varying ages.
Because there is this variety of mental health problems it follows that there needs to be a variety of ways of treating these conditions. Community health centers are usually equipped with different health professionals who can work in a specific area or areas to help individuals overcome their difficulties. In most centers you will find such experts as occupational therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers as well as general practitioners and nurses.
Obviously your family doctor is an important contact person for anyone concerned about their mental health or that of a family member. It may well be a middle-aged parent who could have problems with their teen and/or elderly parent, not to mention the middle-aged parent him or herself. Discuss your concerns with your family doctor who will be able to point you to the appropriate specialist if one is required.
So who will you likely find in your community health center and how can those people help you?
Well a psychiatrist is an expert in dealing with mental health issues and he or she can prescribe a course of treatment after making a detailed assessment of your condition. If your condition is deemed more serious, you may undergo treatment in hospital although any decision like that would be taken by more than one specialist.
A psychologist is someone who can assess a patient in terms of their emotional stability and how they relate to their family members and others. A psychologist does not prescribe medication but can arrange for therapy treatment to help in your mental health issues.
If your depression or other mental health issue affects your mobility and ability to do the basic things in life such as dressing, washing, eating, etc., an occupational therapist is trained to help patients retain their dependence.
A psychiatric nurse often helps patients by calling on them in their home. Anyone with a mental health problem who finds it difficult to visit a community health center or their medical professional can receive advice and comfort from this visiting nurse.
Finally a social worker is someone who knows the various government services and how they can help people with problems. It can be a real practical help and a load off your mind knowing there is someone who can assess your needs and help you obtain the necessary support.
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